TCL shareholders axe old board

TCL shareholders axe old board
Published: 22 August 2014

Six directors have resigned from the board of Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) in a meeting held in Port-of-Spain on Tuesday following a dramatic compulsory meeting of shareholders fed up with the dire financial performance of the indebted Caribbean cement producer.
Businessman Wilfred Espinet was elected Chairman of the new TCL board, along with retired public servant Alison Lewis, Jamaican business executive Chris Dehring, Port-of-Spain attorney Glenn Hamel-Smith, UTC executive Nigel Edwards and Cemex executives Carlos Palero and Francisco Aguilera. The seven new directors join Wayne Yip Choy, Alejandro Cantu and Jean Michel Allard to form a 10-member board.
Andy Bhajan, outgoing chairman, and Rolling Bertrand, CEO, had previously resisted attempts to change the composition of the board.
However Espinet, with growing shareholder support, has long agitated for a wholesale change in company leadership due to the poor financial performance of the company which has led to some shareholders seeing their investment in the company fall by 90 per cent since 2008 while directors failed to declare a dividend between 2008 and 2012. TCL has also had to engage in major debt restructuring having being unable to service its debt of approximately US$2bn.
Major reshuffle paves way for increased control by Cemex
Three of the 10 TCL directors are employees of Mexican cement giant Cemex, which has held a 20 per cent stake in the local cement producer since 1994 and is the largest individual shareholder. The new board composition will offer the company greater say in the running of the company which operates a network of sales across the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and other regional markets.